written by Rachel Abernathy
Food blogging is one of the most popular blogging niches today, and for good reason! The last time you wanted to try a new recipe, you probably searched Google for it, until you found something perfect. If you’re passionate about sharing good food with others, food blogging is for you!
Here are some food blogging tips to get a food blogger started.
Tip #1: Know Your Niche
What TYPE of food blogging do you want to do? Do you want to focus on sharing new recipes? Reviewing restaurants, products, or services? Telling food-related stories? Determine your subniche, as well as your primary niche, here.
It goes deeper too. Who is your target audience? How old are they? What food do they enjoy? Are they looking for gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, or keto recipes? Do they prefer comfort food, fancy fare, or budget-friendly options? Do they want to cook for just one or two people, or are they cooking for a large family? There are so many different directions to go. What fits your interests and knowledge the best?
Tip #2: Build a Self-Hosted Website
If you’re serious about building a successful blog, you need a self-hosted website. No more Weebly.com or WordPress.com sites, with limited customization and monetization options. Instead, you need the following:
- Hosting company, such as Bluehost, to host your site.
- Domain name, purchased from somewhere like GoDaddy, to become your website address.
- Website-building platform, most commonly WordPress.com (which is free), along with a WordPress theme.
Tip #3: Choose an Easy-to-Remember Domain Name
As you pick your blog and domain names, stick with something that describes your blog, without being difficult to spell or remember. Avoid numbers or misspellings that may be tricky for visitors to remember. You want something memorable…but not obscure.
Pro Food Blogging Tips:
You also want to pick a unique name! After you’ve brainstormed some ideas, search online, to make sure it hasn’t already been used by another blogger or author, and check social media for anyone using that handle already too.
Tip #4: Secure Your Handles on Social Media Platforms (Yes, Even the Ones You Don’t Use Now)
Once you’ve purchased your domain name, immediately secure your handles on social media: Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, as well as any more obscure social media sites your audience frequents.
Pro Food Blogging Tips:
You don’t have to start posting on all of these social media platforms regularly, especially not in the beginning. But you will still want to check and create profiles there, so you can reserve them for later, if/when you decide to start posting more frequently there.
Tip #5: Create an Organization & Process Tracking System NOW
Now is also a good time to create an organization and process tracking system. This will help you keep things decluttered and less overwhelming as your blog grows. Set up an Asana or Trello account for tracking details related to your food blog. Get your Cloud or local computer storage organized into folders, so you can easily find what you need, when you need it.
Tip #6: Build an About Page
While brainstorming exciting new recipes and blog post ideas for your food blog, don’t forget the About page! This is where readers will come to learn more about you and your website. Tell your story. Share some photos. Ask yourself, “How can I help my readers?” Focus on that, instead of just yourself.
Tip #7: Take Well-Lit, Mouth-Watering Photos & Optimize Them for Your Site
Food blogging relies on pictures. Have you ever seen a recipe online that made you drool? That’s the reaction you want from readers too!
Food photography, ironically, is one of the most important types of photography in the blogging world, while simultaneously being one of the most difficult types of photography. Good lighting is KEY for mouth-watering photography. Make sure to use the right angles, colors, and textures too.
Find yourself a food blogging photography course, watch some videos on the topic, and search the internet for more information. You could study this for years and still learn new things! Also, don’t forget tasteful editing, to make images pop.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that large photos can slow down your website. Make sure you optimize any photos you do use. Many food bloggers also put watermarks on their images, to ensure they can’t be easily stolen and passed off as someone else’s pictures.
Tip #8: Post Trustworthy (& Delicious) Recipes
You want recipes that turn out well for your readers, so they come back for more and share your recipe with loved ones. Post recipes that are complete, clear, and trustworthy, because your reputation is at stake here.
Tip #9: Make Content Scannable & Mobile-Friendly
As you write blog posts, build your About page, and create other website content, remember to keep things scannable. People are reading more content than ever on mobile devices, so keep sentences and paragraphs short. Use mobile-responsive themes. Incorporate bullet points, headers, and bold or italicized text to emphasize important information.
Tip #10: Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines (SEO)
In blogging, you’re looking for long-tail keywords. Instead of “apple pie” you could target “homemade sugar-free apple pie recipe”, for example, because it would be easier to rank in search results using the longer keyword.
Once you’ve found your target keyword(s), incorporate them into your blog post title, URL, image alt text, and headers, whenever it seems natural to do so.
Tip #11: Make Recipes Easy to Follow in the Kitchen
Make sure you keep your recipes easy to follow, especially if someone is referencing the recipe in the kitchen, with ingredients scattered around them as they boil something on the stove. 🙂
This is why many food bloggers use a WordPress recipe plugin like WP Recipe Maker. These plugins help you create printable and/or easy-to-reference recipes for your blog.
Tip #12: Don’t Underestimate Simplicity
Don’t underestimate the power of simplicity in food blogging. Keep your website design clear and easy-to-use. Use a simple recipe format. Don’t feel bad about sharing simple recipes either! Sometimes the best memories are made around a table of comfort food.
Tip #13: Don’t Steal Other People’s Recipes
It is best practice to post original recipes. While copyright law is sticky in this area, it is generally accepted that ingredient lists, for example, cannot be copyrighted, but that you can’t copy “substantial literary expression” for someone else’s recipe, so make sure and read up on this topic before sharing recipes you didn’t create.
Pro Food Blogging Tips:
Technicality aside, however, it is always polite to make sure you give credit where credit is due. And original recipes will help your blog stand out in cyberspace too!
Tip #15: Build a Recipe Index Page
If readers try a recipe and want other inspirational ideas, make finding new recipes as easy as possible. Build a recipe index page or use categories on your site that allow readers to easily discover other recipes based on cuisine, course, and/or ingredient(s).
Tip #16: Post Consistently
Next to the quality of your content, there’s nothing more important than posting consistently on your food blog. This signals to Google that you’re a current site, and it trains your readers to keep visiting your website for new content.
Pro Food Blogging Tips:
Check out this other blog post on how to blog consistently here.
Tip #17: Capture Email Addresses to Build a List
Don’t give it all away on your website! When you’re growing a food blog, it is important to capture readers’ email addresses. To do this, you’ll need an email service provider like MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, or MailerLite. These tools allow you to create signup forms on your website, and then you can create your own email list.
To do this, you will probably need to create freebies or lead magnets (i.e., pieces of valuable content like eBooks, cheat sheets, or templates) that you give away for free in exchange for a reader’s email address.
Once you’ve started collecting addresses, start sending regular emails to your list, to strengthen your connection with readers and train them to click on your links. Over time, your email list can become a valuable source of income and information for your blog, so don’t skip this important step.
Tip #18: Be Yourself & Don’t Stress Over Perfection
In food blogging, it pays to be yourself! Don’t try to make yourself into someone you aren’t, and don’t try to make your content robotically perfect either. People are hungry not only for good food, but they also want to enjoy real people’s perspectives too. Especially when it comes to food blogging, just share authentic content, and it will resonate with readers who enjoy it most.
Tip #19: Network with Other Food Bloggers & Bloggers in Related Niches
Don’t do this alone. Food bloggers are some of the most engaging and friendly people online. Join a Facebook group or group coaching program to network with other food bloggers or even non-food bloggers who may overlap somewhat in your niche. Share content with each other’s audiences. Ask for feedback. Collaborate on projects like guest posts or cookbooks.
Tip #20: Use Affiliate Links
People are shopping online more than EVER today, and that’s great news for you, especially as a food blogger. People frequently order grocery items and equipment from online stores, so why not use affiliate links on your blog?
When you sign up for affiliate programs, you will get special referral link(s). You put these referral links on your blog, and if visitors click and purchase something through your link, you will get commission. As a food blogger, you have lots of opportunities to share affiliate products with readers, whether it is simple ingredients, gourmet food gifts, or cookbooks. (Just make sure to follow FTC guidelines while using affiliate links or sponsors.)
Pssst, we have food bloggers in our affiliate program too! Check out the Ultimate Bundles affiliate program here.
Tip #21: Create Your Own Products
Once you’ve built up traffic, it may be time to start building your very own products. Consider what you could teach readers. Could you make an online course about a specific topic people always ask you about? Could you write a cookbook with all of your recipes in one place? Could you sell physical products such as aprons or customized cooking utensils?
Pro Food Blogging Tips:
Consider how you can build multiple streams of income into your food blog using your own products.
Tip #22: Reassess Your Goals & Consider Outsourcing
As your food blog grows, don’t be afraid to reassess the direction of your blog and even hire help if you need it. Many food bloggers hire people to work on graphic design, social media marketing, customer service, and more, to free themselves up to work on other tasks they really enjoy.
In short, make sure you’re not spending too much time on things that don’t give you a good ROI.
Tip #23: Share Your Content!
While food blogging, don’t forget to share your content far and wide, so readers everywhere can enjoy what you’ve published. Post your recipes on recipe sharing sites. Share your content on social media. Oh, and don’t forget to direct family members and friends to your blog when they ask for the recipe!
Food Blogging Tips: Conclusion
Are you a food blogger? What do you wish you’d known when you first started? Is there something you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments!
Rachel Abernathy is Ultimate Bundles’ Jill of All Trades, as well as a blogger, virtual assistant, and content marketing professional humming away from her home office in the Midwest. When she’s not writing or editing something new, you can find her making a delicious something (read: mess) in the kitchen! Learn more about Rachel at RachelsRealFoodKitchen.com